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The American dream of participating in the World Handball Championship has been shattered. Forced to give up two days before heading into the game due to Covid-19, the U.S. should theoretically face France this Monday in Egypt and is still in quarantine in rural Denmark, where she is preparing. Among the delegations Benjamin Brive, one of two French-Americans, talks about how this World Cup is finally being lived by an agent…in front of Danish TV!
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He was delighted to meet Luc Abalo, Michaël Guigou, Valentin Porte and others during the World Cup… Instead, Benjamin Brive will see Switzerland challenge France, not the US, in Denmark, a few dozen kilometers from Kolding. After a series of positive tests for Covid-19.
“We are still in the sports and hotel complex where we interned, but in quarantine‘, explained the right-back, a former professional who has played through Toulouse, Cesson-Rennes and Aix.Delegations no longer have access to the swimming pool, sauna and cold bath, but the hotel manager still left us foosball, ping pong table, fridge and TV to watch the game! We don’t have to be isolated in our room. Better than jail time!“
Behind the grin we guessed on the other end of the phone, we still felt Benjamin was starting to get bored, his younger brother Roman is still a pro in the Cesson-Rennes Star League (the youngest Marcio also started making very few first-team appearances) . “Indeed, having to give up the World Cup is really hard to accept. Throughout our preparations, we tested negative, and even on the morning of January 11, a rapid test turned up nothing. But in the afternoon, we did a more thorough PCR test and the results were… more than half of them were positive! It really surprised everyone because no one had any symptoms at the time! It wasn’t until the next day or two that some people, including me, started showing flu symptoms. However, we think we’ve taken all the precautions: we wear masks, we wash our hands often… but here, it’s a hotel, and we’re not in a completely enclosed bubble like a handball arena. Be the Blues. At first, the federation also wanted to send a streamlined team to Egypt, but the number of positive cases is increasing and the risk is high. We had to accept the package on the eve of departure.“
This is how Team USA was invited to the World Cup by the International Federation due to Covid-19 (which prevented qualifying) and ultimately had to give up…for the same reason. Pass up a historic opportunity.
“The development of handball in the United States is really a pity, I could have liked it”, Benjamin regrets that he came to Uncle Sam’s house five years ago and is now a U.S. citizen.
“We started to feel a little bit of enthusiasm around, ESPN channel should be showing our game.We now hope for a new chance at the 2023 World Cup“The Rouen native explained that he worked as a physical therapist in Miami while playing for the New York handball team. Because handball is not possible in the United States.”The national championships have been suspended for a year due to Covid-19. Typically, it takes place in two phases: the first is four geographic leagues, followed by a four-day final phase with the best teams from across the country. Once in America, I joined a club. That’s how I heard about selection. I submitted my application and was accepted!“
Benjamin Briff dares not dream of competing in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, where Team USA will automatically qualify. “I’m 41 years old and I’m still a long way, and I hope at the same time, for the development of handball, a new generation can take over!“The former French professional first hopes to return to Miami on February 1 to celebrate his 34th birthday. “For the delegation, the quarantine will end on Monday, but I will have to wait three more days before returning to the United States.“Hopefully the test results are negative.